The City of Hastings Parks and Recreation Department is warning that the Emerald Ash Borer could be on its way to the area.
Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect from Asia that can destroy all types of ash trees in many states to the east of Nebraska. The EAB continues to spread and it has been found as close as the Kansas City area.
Nebraska state entomologist Julie Van Meter says the EAB has been found in states surrounding Nebraska, including Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
Professional foresters believe it is spreading mainly by transfer of infested firewood along major highways.
This is a serious threat for Hastings because 12 percent of Hastings terrace trees and 20 percent of park trees are ash trees.
The City will be notified when EAB arrives in the state and will received detailed information on best practices for managing the infestation. Currently, best practice is chemically treating high value ash trees and removing the remainder according to a recommended schedule.
Those with Ash trees on their property are urged to call in experts to examine any declining ash trees on their property. Removal now will slow down the spread of EAB when it gets here and will greatly reduce the cost of dealing with an infestation.
To help avoid the spread of EAb and other tree diseases, Nebraska residents needing to buy firewood this winter are being asked to purchase locally harvested wood to keep plant diseases and insects from spreading to the state.